It's safe to say that the dramatic surge in the number of refugees has changed Europe. Across the continent, many governments — including those initially sympathetic to the plight of refugees — have adopted unusual and, in some cases, controversial policies to help deal with the flow of refugees.
- Denmark will soon vote on a law that would allow it to seize valuables such as jewelry and cash from arriving refugees and migrants. Most politicians support it.
- Authorities in Switzerland have begun warning refugees that they will have to hand over any property worth more than 1,000 Swiss francs ($980).
- Some states in southern Germany have begun seizing assets from refugees if they are worth more than 750 euros ($812).
- The U.N. human rights chief has accused the Czech Republic of taking refugees' money to pay for their detention. In some cases, the refugees have been strip-searched in a bid to find cash.
- The German city of Bornheim banned male refugees older than 18 from a public swimming pool after a number of reports of sexual assaults. The ban was lifted after controversy ensued.
- The Danish city of Randers made it mandatory for public institutions, including cafeterias in kindergartens and day-care centers, to have pork dishes on their menus. The hope is to maintain a Danish identity in the face of increased emigration from Muslim countries, where many do not eat pork for religious reasons
- In Britain, refugees in one city were made to wear red wristbands in order to receive food. The plan, implemented by a private company contracted by the government, has since been scrapped.
- And in another British city, refugees complained that the red doors of their homes made them susceptible to attacks. The owner of the private company that supplied the housing said the doors were red only because the company buys the color in bulk.
- Norway forced some refugees to cycle across the border to Russia in the dead of winter. After a number of refugees used a legal loophole to enter Norway on a bike, the Norwegian government deported them back to Russia. In some cases, the refugees cycled back into the Arctic north of Russia. Norway has since stopped the practice under pressure from Russia.
- The Danish government placed advertisements in Lebanese newspapers telling Syrians not to come to Denmark. The ads detailed changes to Denmark's asylum laws that would make it a less desirable place for refugees.
- Despite criticism of the Danish advertisements, the Norwegian government began its own anti-immigration ad campaign.
- A number of countries, including Denmark and Norway, have begun giving sexual education and etiquette classes to refugees.
- Slovakia has said that it will refuse entry to Muslim refugees, instead announcing that it would take in only Christians.
- A variety of European countries have begun implementing border controls. Some interpret this as a move that may signal the eventual end of Europe's border-free Schengen area.
- Other governments on Europe's periphery have built border walls and fences to restrict the movement of refugees and migrants.
The likelihood is that this list will keep expanding: The United Nations has estimated that an additional 1 million refugees and migrants will try to enter Europe this year.